Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Done For
By Rose Terry Cooke (1827–1892)
 
[From Poems. Collective Edition. 1888.]

A WEEK ago to-day, when red-haired Sally
  Down to the sugar-camp came to see me,
I saw her checked frock coming down the valley,
  Far as anybody’s eyes could see.
Now I sit before the camp-fire,        5
  And I can’t see the pine knots blaze,
Nor Sally’s pretty face a-shining,
  Though I hear the good words she says.
 
A week ago to-night I was tired and lonely,
  Sally was gone back to Mason’s fort,        10
And the boys by the sugar-kettles left me only;
  They were hunting coons for sport.
By there snaked a painted Pawnee,
  I was asleep before the fire;
He creased my two eyes with his hatchet,        15
  And scalped me to his heart’s desire.
 
There they found me on the dry tussocks lying,
  Bloody and cold as a live man could be;
A hoot-owl on the branches overhead was crying,
  Crying murder to the red Pawnee.        20
They brought me to the camp-fire,
  They washed me in the sweet white spring;
But my eyes were full of flashes,
  And all night my ears would sing.
 
I thought I was a hunter on the prairie,        25
  But they saved me for an old blind dog;
When the hunting-grounds are cool and airy,
  I shall lie here like a helpless log.
I can’t ride the little wiry pony,
  That scrambles over hills high and low;        30
I can’t set my traps for the cony,
  Or bring down the black buffalo.
 
I’m no better than a rusty, bursted rifle,
  And I don’t see signs of any other trail;
Here by the camp-fire I lie and stifle,        35
  And hear Jim fill the kettles with his pail.
It’s no use groaning. I like Sally,
  But a Digger squaw wouldn’t have me!
I wish they hadn’t found me in the valley,—
  It’s twice dead not to see!        40
 
 
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